UK Home Minister Patel Says Social Media Should Be Accountable for Content Hurting Children

© REUTERS / JESSICA TAYLORParliament session at the House of Commons in London
Parliament session at the House of Commons in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.09.2021
LONDON (Sputnik) -The UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Wednesday that G7 countries should hold social networks and companies accountable for content harmful to children and not allow end-to-end encryption to increase thesexual abuse rate among minors.

"End-to-end encrypted messaging presents a big challenge to public safety, and this is not just a matter for governments and law enforcement. Social media companies need to understand they share responsibility for keeping people safe… The UK is a global leader in tackling online child sexual abuse… I am raising this issue at the G7 summit of interior ministers this week", Patel stated ahead of the G7 ministers meeting, scheduled to take place from 8-9 September in London.

Sexual abuses of children are incited and organised via the internet on a vast scale, with most incidents occurring on everyday apps and platforms and not the darkest corners of the web as generally believed, the minister added.

"The introduction of end-to-end encryption must not open the door to even greater levels of child sexual abuse – but that is the reality if plans such as those put forward by Facebook go ahead unchanged," Patel continued.

The UK Home Minister announced that enforcing cooperation on children's online security was on the agenda of the upcoming G7 meetings and urged UK partners to back its approach of holding technology companies to account and asking social media companies to "put public safety before profits".
In mid-August, Facebook, the owner of Instagram and WhatsApp, announced plans to start encrypting voice messages and video calls, a measure that some governments and law enforcement agencies believe may hinder investigations into paedophiles.
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